I was wondering what was the difference between these two terms:
“To rip off”
Which one is better in this sentence? :
“This store rips off their customers”
“This store scams their customers”
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A scam is generally a dishonest or deceitful attempt to rip someone off.
A rip off is taking money from someone without giving them anything of equivalent value in return. It is not necessarily dishonest or deceitful. For example, selling bottled water for $1 per liter is a rip off (at least in countries where tap water is safe to drink), but it isn't a scam.
You have marked your question as "formal language" and neither "scam" nor "rip off" are particularly formal. Scam originated in US slang of the early 1960s, and "rip off" is from African American vernacular of the late 60s
Formal alternatives for "scam" could be "an attempt to defraud" or "swindle", and "rip off" is "overpricing".